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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1988 Jul;85(13):4809-13.

An intermediate in transposition of the conjugative transposon Tn916.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University Health Sciences Center, Atlanta, GA 30322.


Using the conjugative transposon Tn916, we have identified a closed covalent circular form produced in vivo that is able to serve as an intermediate in transposition. When a region of a streptococcal chromosome containing Tn916 is cloned in an Escherichia coli plasmid, supercoiled transposon molecules are excised spontaneously. The purified supercoiled forms transform Bacillus subtilis protoplasts by inserting into the chromosome, apparently at random. In B. subtilis, Tn916 retains its ability to promote conjugative transposition, as shown by its transfer to Streptococcus pyogenes.

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